Friday, January 29, 2010

When I started this new blog I though...

When I started this new blog I thought I'd be making frequent, but short posts, however that hasn't been the case. It seems I'm falling back into the trap of not following up on my blog. Hopefully I can use this snow day to get myself caught up.

Sherlock Holmes (11/01/10) (US) (Empire Theatres)
Had plans to go to the movies all weekend, but didn't get around to it so why not go to the movies on a Monday night? I was surprised by how many people seem to do this. There was a really decent crowd at the movies for the early show. There must've not been much on TV or maybe people just like a chance to get out and break the work week up.

Both Judd Law and Robert Downey Jr. gave solid performances. I'm not familiar at all with the original stories so I can't comment on how true the script was to the text, but I don't really care, I was thoroughly entertained, especially by Sherlock's kung fu!

Five Women Wearing the Same Dress by Alan Ball (12/01/10) (US) (Play)
In my constant quest to find plays with strong female characters, I came across this little gem by the writer who brought us American Beauty and Six Feet Under. I didn't expect to read a play I could actually do at a high school, but I got into it so easily that I had to finish. It's an ensemble piece that would be wonderful to do with five strong actors. Each character is a reluctant member of a bridal party. The action of the play takes place as the characters sneak away from the wedding reception. Throughout the eveing each character lets her guard down and reveals her true self to the audience. It's a nice slice of life character driven drama. There are laugh out loud moments contrasted with moments of sheer heartbreak. It would be an excellent night of theatre.


Various Ten Minute Plays by various authors (12/01/10 to 29/01/10)
I've given up on trying to find a full-length play to do with my students this semester, so I've decided to put on an evening of ten-minute plays instead. We did this last fall and it went over very well. It allows lots of students a chance to shine. So a colleague and I have been trekking through various anthologies and we've narrowed our choices down two twenty-two possibilities. We still need to whittle in down to about 12 scenes, but we're on the right track. A night of ten-minute plays can be a lot of fun, because you can see a variety of styles and genres all packed into on night out.

Saturday with the Symphony (16/01/10) (Celebration Centre ) (CAN)
I took part in music workshop put on by school district 2 and the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. It brought together students from grades 4 to 12 to create a piece of reader's theatre that incorporated sounds effects and orchestration. It was pretty impressive to watch a 12 minute piece come together in only two hours. We also got to watch some the NBYO rehearse and it always blows my mind how professional the NBYO sounds. It is a talented ensemble made up of hard working musicians. If you ever get a chance to see them you should do it.

Mad Men: Season One, Disk Two (17/01/10) (AMC) (US) (DVD)
We picked up the second disk at Spin-it over the weekend and got even more drawn into the narrative. Just who is this Don Draper and what is he hiding? I look forward to watching more episodes.

Youth in Revolt (19/01/10) (US) (Empire Theatres)
Another week night trip to the movies, this time with my brother. The premise seemed interesting and I always enjoy Michael Cera so why not? It's been a long time since I've watched a teen movie in a theatre and I definitely felt old. But, there were some really funny moments and Cera flexed his acting chops a bit by playing a rebellious persona. An enjoyable movie.

The Mad Woman of Chaillot by Jean Giradoux (24/01/10) (Fr) (Hubcity Theatre)
It' a really captivating French play from the 1940s that deals with cooperate greed and the fight to protect authentic a neighbourhood from being exploitated by big business. The theme of the show really reflects our time and suggests that not a lot has changed in the past sixty years. It was a nice piece of community theatre with some strong performances from some talented actors. Nice Work.

The Sopranos: Season One (25/01/10) (HBO) (US) (DVD)
We decided if we were going to watch The Sopranos than we'd have to do it right. We went on eBay and bought the entire series. It arrived Friday and we started on episode 5 and by the end of the weekend we finished season one. Tony Soprano is one complex character, perhaps the most complex fictional character since that Danish Prince. I can't wait for season two!





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